Karl Lager-Awesome

This morning on the train I saw a tooootal Karl Lagerfeld lookalike. I wish I had my camera because...well no I probably wouldn't have taken a picture because it was a pretty crowded train, but I definitely had to do a double take. Obviously Karl Lagerfeld wouldn't be caught dead riding a train, I'm sure he hasn't ridden one since like 1960, and even then I bet he brough a red velvet pillow to sit on. The point of all this is then I came home and while browsing style.com I happen to stumble upon Mr. Lagerfeld's Spring 2009 RTW Collection. Pretty fantastic collection if you ask me - he mostly stuck to black, white, charcoal and silver...a floral type print here and there but mostly just rigid, kind of space agey flight attendant-like pieces. Some examples below:

To view the entire collection, click HERE.

Then!!!! I came across a fascinating little number that, if anybody's gonna pull it off it's gonna be this guy right here. Ladies and gents, I give you, The "Mask" Bag:

Compare Karl photo on bag to Karl photo at the top of the post...not too shabs. Oh, and if you've made it to the end of this post and you're thinking to yourself "is it bad that I don't know who Karl Lagerfeld is?" - yes, it is. So for all of our sake, put your Google skills to use...cuz he's definitely a fashion must-know.



Inbe-teen Fashion and Style <-------

I hope you feel the danger! If you have any respect for your closet, I hope you take my words in this post seriously, because things are rough out there- let me tell you, the teenagers are coming.
The fright of the teenagers is pretty serious, and all of us who aim to live a creative life, in our art and our personal presentation need to be aware of the distinction that these biting-ass youg’ns helped me to realize: fashion and style are two separate things. And though fashion is used more in our day-to-day lingo, I’d rather have style.

Fashion in this: understanding what’s vogue, what’s in, what’s current and what’s poppin in the streets, depending on what streets you bop down. It’s generally knowing what society thinks is cool, classy, sexy, upscale, etc. The truth is that it has a lot to do with playing follow the leader- Calvin, Vogue, MTV, Hearst, Bravo ( yeah man, Bravo’s got power these days!) As the dominant word, fashion is touted as the desirable thing to be, and who wouldn’t want to be well-dressed and well known for it. But fashion is like an ipod, cool, but so easily accessible, anyone can have it.

Fashion takes little skill, and even less of someone’s actual self. I could teleport to Prague right now and become fashionable in just a few weeks. But what I couldn’t be is stylish. Style is a personal reflection; a personal rendering of fashion that pretty much transcends the “what not to wears” of the time. I don’t know about you, but that sounds tasty.

Now here’s the thing, imagine you’re a stylish person who manages to get a little bit of limelight for the whatever-chic you invent…the teens will be there. They’ll be there to copy you, take it to school and spread it around, like the cold…and mono! And you know what happens to your style when more and more people do it, it becomes fashion and when you’re style becomes fashion, whether you like it or not, you become that much less unique (from an outside perspective). Perfect example- leather boat shoes. Some soul out there decided that they felt dope in a pair of boat shoes- unfortunately the teenagers stole the blue print and now the number 2 train is littered with enough boat shoe wearing teens to confuse this place for Maine, or worse, Vermont!
Even Complex, the used-to-be-bible (until the teenagers got a whiff) has got the hood rocking shoes, apparently they read my post about them...ha! Check the Cool Kids, styled as such (we still dig you though dogs):

(admittedly, Rocks and Inglish are a bad example cuz they look pretty fly most time)

So are the stylish doomed. Will the words become one in the global dictionary or will there still be a light for style to profile in. It’ll be a hard fight as long as there are teenagers. But the hope remains- because style is an internal, constant, creative deal, it’ll always be there. As long as you’re stylish, you’ll always be coming up with new, not-popular ways to rock your gear, many of which might be a hit, more of which will not. And that’s what we have left.

Damn teenagers.


Say It Ain't Sew!

A miracle happened on 238th street (yes, the numbers got that high) last night- I sat down to watch television! Bravo! That’s not the salutations I get for my victory, but the channel I landed on, looking to fill my headspace with some design dopeness. I caught the tail end of Project Runway’s season finale, where the rack of judges critiqued the work of nervous looking women on the stage. As Tim and the crew dished, a sin happened on 238th street- I disagreed, disregarded and hated on what the fashion foursome had to say (are there four of them?)! Bravo? What they were saying about each designer’s work sounded legit- silhouettes, cuts, range, briskets…whoops, sorry, I’m hungry. But at the rate they were spewing extraneous terms, I wouldn’t be surprised one of them slipped in some totally unrelated term. To one of the finalists, whos work rang similar to Bellenciaga and some other multisyllabic designers, they suggest that she take a fashion history course (those exist?) as to not repeat pre-had creativity. This is where I had to called the BS like I heard it. At the end of the that sentence, with unknowing elitism, whateverhisnameis might have ruined and delegitimized Project Runway for me…and now I’m going to do it for you.

Really, fashion cannot be rated, in such a numerical, marginalized format. I’ve never taken a fashion history class, never taken a course in textile production, I’ve never even learn to sew! But I can still clean up, can still talk about fashion and its ills and perils, allwith technical ignorance. You don’t need it!! The foundations of any fashion culture was threaded together by women and men who created on assumption, hope and faith in their imaginations. Obviously there are greater cultural basics that have provide a guiding light- and even those are changing- like dudes wear shirts and pants and shorties rock skirts and heels; but developments from then on were based on intuitive innovation. “Intuitive innovation”- that just slipped out, but it sounds bookish enough to be “terminology”- def: creative development inspired by ones own creative, cognitive development.

So really, whathisname is has no right to "judge" any of the finalists:

1. his outfit was whack

2. his academic know-how won’t get him placed on racks, it doesn’t affect his savvy in real time, in real life.

3. The same borders the finalists were expected to know and follow are the same kind of barricades that hinder the industry. I should be mad at Tim-and-dem, they’re the reason GQ Magazine is whack, tossing us the same fashion, same advice, same general sartorial shamanism every freakin’ month!!

4. See reason number 1

seriously, check him out...or don't. CLICK

And another thing- Tim always wears the same thing!

This isn’t to say that expertise doesn’t exist. Genius designers and stylists are still the truth, but the truth of the matter is their smarts come from understanding their own creativity (in the context of the larger culture) not so much in how many vintage Vogue mags they’ve read.

And for the record, I like the black girl’s show the best.



Call me crazy but...no actually just call me Sexy.

As a 90's teen, my first images of Sexy was back when Calvin Klein marketed fragrances in a black and white...and very naked and steamy series of campaigns. Maybe they still do that? I don't really pay attention. But remember CK One?

So hot. I remember looking to supermodels like Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and yes, even Tyra...remember when she was a BOMBSHELL?? (Yeah, I just said bombshell). They wore heels and tight dresses and things with lots of different colors of lace. Legs, boobies, cheekbones, lips...they were feminine, they were provocative...they were Sexy.

Now, in 2008, things are a bit more complicated. Or maybe they've always been this complicated, but a recent S&D conversation has gotten me thinking more about the complicatedness. In the world of "sexy" there are a few different footnotes that I'd like to address. We already kind of touched on one of them in our previous post Pumps and Dunks, where we mentioned that sexy isn't necessarily heels and a dress, but can now be, for example, some nice skinny jeans and 'prece-worthy sneakers. Just make that booty look plump and/or show some cleave to add the little femme touch.

**I should note here, in case you haven't figured it out that Snaps&Daps is comprised of 2 people, a boy and a girl, Dushane Ramsay and myself, Mihal Freinquel. Dushane tackled sexiness in "Pumps and Dunks", so this post is coming to you from a female perspective.

Anyway, getting back on track. What I was just talking about is Footnote #1: What clothes make women look sexy? Some guys tell us they just like us in a beater and sweats. Some like lingerie, some like the whoooole getup (something short with heels and makeup), some don't care until whatever it is is taken off. Flip through most women's magazines and you will undoubtedly find a section with a title to the effect of "Trendy vs. Trashy". This exists for those women who go all out to get their sexy on and need a reference guide to tell them when they've crossed the very fine line between "I want him to want to take me home" and "I want him to take me home then pay me for my services". Example:

I should make a disclaimer that Elizabeth Hurley always looks like a sex goddess - trashy, trendy, whatever. Here, however, with a butt coming out of the top of her dress, and a weird arts and crafts project crawling up her left shoulder...trashy.

Here: stiiiiill smoldering sex goddess, but not "Pretty Woman" style, just a pretty woman with style.

So there's the fine line. Maybe guys can't notice it, but us ladies certainly can. Which brings me to my next footnote on Sexy, Footnote #2: Who are we really dressing for? We all wanna say we're dressing for ourselves. I feel better when I wear a [insert adjective here] outfit. I walk taller, it gives me swagger, blah blah whatever. The truth is, the majority of women dress to look good for others. And surprisingly (except maybe on Friday and Saturday nights), it AIN'T for the manses. Nope, it's for the other ladies. Let's face it girls, unless you're crushing on/have a boyfriend like, well...Dushane, your man is not gonna notice whatever elements of your outfit that you think deserve noticing - the gold detail on the button, the buckle on the shoe, that your cami is ever-so-slightly sticking out of your flannel shirt because today you're going for the flirty hobo chic look. Nope, that's a girl thing. Your homegirl will not only notice those things, but comment on them, and those are the things that make us feel fantastic. So with that said, a footnote to this footnote is, the majority of the time girls with style aren't really dressing to look sexy, they're dressing to look fly! This is what I'm talkin about:

My girlfriend and yours, Erin Wasson

Model, Agyness Deyn

Rumi from Fashion Toast

MK, duh.

Creative outfits, unique accessories, funk, sass, etc. etc. Sexy? Maybe, depends who you're asking. Which brings me to our third and final footnote. When trying to impress a guy/get his attention/make him want to have sexytime with us, Footnote #3: How do we reconcile our ideas of "style" with his ideas of "sexy"? Well, I actually have no answer, sorry, because I don't know that I've ever successfully done it. I suppose you can only cross your fingers and hope that your guy has as much fabulous style as your fashionista self. If he doesn't, then my suggestion is to dress "style" 90% of the time, and pull out that freakum dress for 10% of "sexy" time . If he don't get the other 90%, you can either shrug your shoulders knowing that it's his loss, tell homeboy to read this post then take him through your treasure of a wardrobe and point out all the precious details, move on to a new man (who probs won't get it either), move on to a gay man (who most likely will), or spend the entire 90% of your "style" time with your girls. Your call.



Fashion Meets Politics

Ahhh Paris Fashion Week...

There's no denying that while Fashion Week in NYC is glamorous and exciting, our fashion forward homies over in France take the celebration to a whooole different level. It's theatrical, it's outrageous, it's scandalous, it's...political? Yeah. But we ain't talkin world politics here, we're specifically talking about THE ELECTION...America's election. Obama...McWhats-his-face...you know the one.

Designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac's Spring 2009 collection featured a wild combination of bold graphic jersey-type dresses with more elegant typically spring-time pieces. While the the graphic dresses playfully featured Disney characters and princesses with full heads of hair, Castelbajac also incorporated a political statement. See below:

Props to him...cuz over here at SND we are indeed Obama supporters, but let's be srrious, I'd never wear any of these. Below are some of the designer's more subdued pieces, which are so spring and so fierce - combining the soft dresses with the intricate rope designs...can't say I'd wear the whole outfit, but the dresses alone would definitely be a go:

Images from entire collection can be found HERE.

Can you believe all these photos are actually pieces from the same collection??!! Paris is wildin! And while we're on the topic of the intersection of fashion & politics, Castelbajac isn't the only one who has taken advantage of the catwalk as a political platform. Rodarte featured an Obama dress at Sonia Rykiel’s 40th Anniversary show, Donatella Versace dedicated her Spring/Summer 2009 collection to Obama, calling him "the man of the moment", and various designers including Alexander Wang, Zac Posen, Marc Jacobs, and Nanette Lepore have designed clothing and accessories to raise money for the Obama campaign.


(From top): Alexander Wang, Zac Posen, Marc Jacobs, and Nanette Lepore

Fashion is HERE. And soooooooo are the politics. Need we remind you?? Votevotevotevotevote - rock the vote - be the vote - 'prece the vote.